Chief Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the about 14million out-of-school children in Nigeria could turn to Boko Haram recruits in the next 10 years.
The former President, Obasanjo made this known in his statement while addressing participants at the presidential youth mentorship retreat held at Youth Development Centre, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
While lamenting the increase in number of the out-of-school children in Nigeria, Obasanjo described them as potential Boko Haram terrorists.
He explained that with about 14million out-of-school children roaming Nigerian streets, no one needed an oracle to know the children would turn to criminals and terrorists in the coming years.
The former President said, “A situation today where we have 14million children that should be in school that are not in school; does anybody need to be an oracle to tell that 10 years or 15 years from now, those will be where you will recruit pure Boko Haram.
“So, if you deal with Boko Haram by stick today; in few years’ time the situation will be worse because we are talking about security, it will be worse. So, if we are talking of insecurity, where should we begin? If we are talking of poverty where should we begin? It is education.
“Somebody said if everybody is educated, who will be a servant and I said if everybody is educated, then we will get a better servant than you should have got from those that are not educated.
“If I was a Yoruba leader, I would not have succeeded as I succeeded for Nigeria, I might have succeeded for the Yoruba. Your brother from South-East is right, I believe that every Nigerian is more respected in the committee of nations if Nigeria remains.
“Don’t let us deceive ourselves; will people still respect us because of our population, 200 million people, you cannot just waste them, even when I go out, people will say you Nigerians are not at the table. That is true, we are not at the table when we should be at the table.
“I have no regret for fighting for the unity of Nigeria and if it comes up tomorrow that it should be done and I have ability to do it, I will do what I have to do. I believe that the last thing is not in our fighting for the unity of this country; it is in subsequent leadership that we have.”